(urth) Thecla's "Identity"

Dan'l Danehy-Oakes danldo at gmail.com
Mon Apr 8 09:57:56 PDT 2013


Some wonderful insights, with which I would pick but two nits:

The feast in the forest is specifically a _perversion_ of the Eucharist,
which Severian by his nature purifies (this is why his "copy" of Thecla's
memories is more powerful than is usual for these feasts -- indeed she
seems to be resurrected in him).

And second, Jesus' last words in John (second-to-last by Tradition: we
Catholics have a traditional view of the Seven Words from the Cross, and
say that His very last words were "Father, into Your hands I commend my
spirit") were not "Summatum est" but "Consummatum est," it is completed.


On Mon, Apr 8, 2013 at 9:46 AM, Ross Arlen Tieken
<ross.a.tieken at gmail.com>wrote:

> You're more than welcome!
> I would study good 'ol Julius, but he's doing something different with
> occultism by incorporating a strange un-Hindu Hinduism a la Blavatsky.
> Also, talk about career suicide. I'm already skirting sudden death by
> studying anyone who was involved with nationalism... or Catholicism which
> is almost as bad to the post-modern academy. Evola would be a highway to
> hell in a handbag.
> I also personally do not share his worldview and social critique although
> I recognize its power. I think too much self-reflexive occultism &
> esotericism is not a good thing; Orthodoxy is esoteric enough without
> pulling arcane antics. Again, Pound didn't see that--Eliot certainly did,
> and so did the Catholic liturgical theologian Odo Casel. You should check
> out *The Mystery of Christian Worship*.
> If I didn't know better, I'd say Wolfe had read Casel--that Severian, when
> he takes Thecla's body and the Autarch's body, is participating in the
> Christian Eucharist, along with Horn/Silk when he sacrifices at the Altar
> of the Neighbors in *On Green's Jungles* (of bread and wine?! Could you
> be any more clear, Gene?).
> Wolfe has said that Severian "is a Christian," *not* an allegorical
> Christ figure. But it seems that Severian is so Christ-like... a savior, he
> carries a cross (Terminus Est; in English "It is the end." Christ's last
> words: Summatum Est "It is finished" [John 19:30]). But Severian, if he is
> a Christian (according to Odo Casel, Gregory Dix, and other orthodox
> Catholic Eucharistic theology), he *is a member of Christ's mystical body*!
> This, I think could help us understand Wolfe's assertion: Christ only came
> once, but His mystical body lasts for all time. Wolfe accidentally (or not
> accidentally, I can't decide which) engages with an ancient understanding
> of Christian worship *constantly* throughout the Solar Cycle. I actually
> don't see how it's possible to understand the Solar Cycle without looking
> at Wolfe's Catholic Modernist bent.
> But anyway, Evola's not playing the same card game. Or at least , he's got
> some cards up his sleeve from a different deck.
> Also, don't steal this without attributing me, please. I'm sharing this
> with y'all because this mailing list is such a wonderful idea. I'm writing
> something about this as we speak--and I'll give y'all a link when I'm
> finished.
> R
> Ross Arlen Tieken
> Religious Studies
> Rice University
> On Apr 8, 2013, at 9:57 AM, António Pedro Marques wrote:
>  No dia 06/04/2013, às 00:36, Ross Arlen Tieken <ross.a.tieken at gmail.com>
> escreveu:
>  When I spoke of the Catholic modernists, I should have been more
> precise. The modernists all have weird spiritual proclivities. Eliot wasn't
> technically a Catholic either. I should have clarified what I meant: They
> all have a mystical bent, believe in strong authority, and are inspired by
> myth, myths, and mythic worldviews, and the middle ages. This leads to the
> accusation of fascism (correct in Pound's case, dubious in Eliot and
> Tate's, completely inappropriate in the case of Tolkien and Lewis) and to
> the strong stroke of nationalism and ethnic myth-making in these authors.
> Wolfe definitely shares these preoccupations. See
> http://www.thenightland.co.uk/MYWEB/wolfemountains.html; an essay on the
> importance of Tolkien which begins with the sentence "There is one very
> real sense in which the Dark Ages were the brightest of times, and it is
> this: that they were times of defined and definite duties and freedoms." In
> this, he echoes a Chestertonian defense of the Middle Ages and Catholic
> civilization. I also see in Wolfe an implicit defense of Neo-Feudalism and
> a strongly relgion-centric worldview.
> Pound was a bad fascist; he didn't understand that it depended upon the
> same assumptions that modernity did, and paid the price for it--he failed
> to see the 'real' problem on which his contemporaries easily picked up; not
> just any mythos is good enough, there has to be real sticking power and it
> has to based in some kind of transcendent truth/experience and allow also
> for the intuitive human good. Fascism of course fails utterly at providing
> this, but Tolkien & Eliot's strong ethnic (non-racial) Traditionalism and
> mystical monarchism worked fine.
>  Interesting. Do you analyze Evola as well?
>   This is what I'm writing on for my dissertation, and I thought about
> including Wolfe although he's a little out of the time period. It's coming
> back though, these mystical traditional neo-feudal myth-making monarchist
> distributist Catholic artists.
>  On Dan'l Danehy-Oakes note: Distributism is the Catholic economic
> theory; Marxism's assumptions about "the way stuff works" are absolutely
> not compatible with the Catholic vision of humanity--nor is fascism, or
> hyper-capitalism for that matter. Both depend on a pseudo-scientific
> reading of humans--Catholics sort of aren't up for that.
>  Precisely (whether one admits to the pseudo or not, which I do of
> course).
>   Distributism (championed by Chesterton and Belloc, later by Eliot and
> the Southern Agrarians in America) fulfills the requirements of Catholic
> anthropology while seeking to correct the culture-killing nature of
> transnational corporate capitalism. Look it up, tell me what you think.
>  Also, Wolfe is probably aware of Distributism and is a Catholic in good
> standing with the Church.
> http://ironicalcoincidings.wordpress.com/2011/10/28/inheriting-tolkien-pt-2-gene-wolfe/
>  Thank you for the link.
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Dan'l Danehy-Oakes
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